Over the next several years, Seaside, California will (re)develop more than 1,000 acres of land, resulting in thousands of new housing units. However, in 2002, the city sold Hayes Park, a vacated military neighborhood with ocean views measuring about 104 acres, for a total profit of less than $1,000,000, or about $15,000 per lot. That developer promptly went back on his word to build affordable housing and instead sold those new homes, now in the Seaside Highlands, for roughly $700,000 each. A Seaside resident sued the city, and the court found the transfer of land amounted to an unconstitutional gift of public funds. Imagine my surprise when the city entered into an agreement with that same developer for an upcoming project down the street from my house.
In our ever-growing communities, land is a finite commodity. The city demonstrated its brazen lack of financial stewardship and responsible governance in the Seaside Highlands fiasco and now it wants to get into bed with that same developer. Beyond the outrage of such a plan, our region has yet to identify a source of water to supply all these new homes and businesses. I am absolutely not against development; I am absolutely for smart, responsible, and sustainable development.
My goals are two-fold:
- ensure the city no longer does business with developers who have fleeced Seaside residents, and
- require the city only pursue sustainable developments that integrate renewable energy sources and responsible water use, pedestrian-centered roads and functional traffic engineering principles, and workforce and affordable housing units integrated into market-rate neighborhoods.
The choices we make now about how we transform the undeveloped areas of our city will have a profound effect on future generations. We cannot allow a lack of leadership and vision to gentrify us out of our own community, and we cannot continue to blindly consume our rapidly dwindling resources. I will fight for Seasiders and demand the city puts its residents' interests first.
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Kathleen Founds endorsed
“We have a young democrat fighting for affordable housing in Seaside. Let’s get him elected!”
January 16, 2018
As we turn the page on what was a pretty tough year in the U.S., I wanted to write a brief note to keep you updated on my campaign. I was appointed to both the City of Seaside's Environmental Committee and the County of Monterey's Planning Commission. I've picked up endorsements from a current member of the Seaside city council, a member of the local school district, and another from the local water management district.
My first official campaign event is a kick-off and fundraiser held at a local coffee shop. Hopefully, I'm able to raise some money with which to purchase some flyers and stickers to give out when I canvass the city. I look forward to the challenge – and exercise – of knocking on doors and introducing myself to the people whom I hope to represent come this November.
About ten months from now, this year's election will be over. That seems like a long ways off, but I know it'll pass by in the blink of an eye. I'm excited about the campaign and earning the trust and vote of my fellow Seasiders!
October 11, 2017